Fratelli’s Restaurant. 227 Cranbourne Rd, Frankston. Chicken Parmigiana $13.50 Its’ close proximity to franchise fast-food vendors KFC and McDonalds is misleading. The quality of the food here far surpasses anything that those two companies can possibly concoct. Upon arrival to the restaurant, we were swiftly seated and an order placed. With the main dish, there was a choice of chips, Italian salad or baked vegies. A while later, a copious plate filled with food arrived. The chicken portion was large, plump, juicy, tender, and well crumbed that didn’t leave a fatty residue on the plate. The tomato sauce was delicious, slightly tart with fresh herbs. Also, there was a portion of chips worthy enough to be a large entrée, to add to the meal. The Parmigiana thoroughly enjoyed, I can further recommend the lemon/lime granita, as it complimented the meal very well. The waiting staff was helpful and polite. Fratelli’s also having a take-away service. I give this meal 4.5 stars, the only possible niggle is that possibly more ham could be added to the Parmigiana. Grand Hotel. Cnr Davey St & Nepean Hwy, Frankston. Chicken Parmigiana $17.90 With any establishment serving the public, it is to be expected that whether the customer enters at 9am on a Monday, or 8pm on Saturday, they should receive good customer service. After I ordered, I was presented with a table, only to be told curtly to be seated upstairs near the TAB, on a table that had red wine and cigarette ash liberally sprinkled for effect. I was then promptly forgotten amongst the phlegmatic haze of cigarette smoke and the cackle and clatter of poker machines. I was grateful with the provision of the stale bread, as without this I would have surely starved whilst I waited 40 minutes for my food to arrive. And arrive it did, but with the wrong order, and then with the side dish. The vegetables were either; raw, tasteless or half-peeled, and all left a surprising amount of fat on the plate. As to the Parmigiana itself, it was small, burnt in places, too much cheese and the tomato sauce was too sweet and less (if at all) herby to taste. Even the complimentary drink did little to raise my spirits, but maybe it was the fact that I was coughing and stank like an ashtray that made my meal completely uninspiring. Considering the cost, the inconvenience and the standard of food, I was surprised of the wait that I had to endure to eat it. I give this meal 1.5 stars, and that includes a 1 point bonus for EFTPOS facilities. La Porchetta’s. Nepean Hwy, Frankston. Chicken Parmigiana $13.00 This was a very busy place, especially at the weekend, where its lower prices attract a wide range of people – from families to young couples, but there were plenty of tables to be taken. This put into account, it can be noisy, but thankfully there were enough staff to serve you. A MAJOR turn-off to dining here is the lack of EFTPOS facilities, and the end rating suffered. If you need EFTPOS, a walk in the dark down to the Commonwealth Bank is in order. A particularly unattractive proposition at night. After ordering, the food was delivered soon enough. The Parmigiana itself was good (and HOT!), although slightly fatty (although this could be put down to the copious amount of cheese), but with the large amount of fries, this was OK. The chicken itself was slightly dry, and I was disappointed with the lack of ham... a key ingredient to a chicken Parmigiana. False advertising? Hmmm. Again, I was miffed to discover that the sauce was sweet! I mean, who puts tomato sauce in Parma? Ugh. It was herby, so I guess it claimed some grace there. La Porchetta’s is a chain of Italian restaurants that are made famous by its competitive pricing, but I must admit fame in this store is not made by the quality of its pizzas/foccacias, as they were slightly stodgy. I give it 2.5 stars, 1 point lost through the lack of EFTPOS facilities. Rugantino’s Restaurant. 423 Nepean Hwy, Frankston. Chicken Parmigiana $15.50 Rugantino’s restaurant is a Frankston institution. It has been reknowned for excellent Italian cuisine, ranging from the traditional pastas and pizzas to steak dishes. However, the management has changed hands and things have changed a little. The restaurant is still very busy, but for example, some things are irrevocably different. There are two parts of the restaurant, the sit-down area with smaller tables, and a sit- down area near the main pizza oven and kitchen area. This would be no problem, except for the cold blasts of air that chilled me whenever the entry door was opened. Upon entry to the premises, the staff seemed confused as to my quick intention to order for the food and to pay. I ordered a Garlic & Cheese Pizza, which I may add was slightly raw and doughy, however it was a little too oily. The chicken Parmigiana arrived later than average, and it may be an underestimation to say in the least to say that the plate was hot. I was eternally grateful for the waitresses’ advice, but you could easily have burned yourself on the plate. Overkill to table five anyone? The Parmigiana was a strange brew. The Chicken was thin, overcooked and over- crumbed. The tomato sauce was fantastic, cheese was (over) plentiful, but significant marks lost due to the charred underside of the chicken, the lack of ham and the small provision of dry, dry, dry chips. I give it 2.5 stars. Seahorse Tavern. U Block, Peninsula Campus, McMahon’s Rd, Frankston. Chicken Parmigiana $11.00 (comes with free soft drink) The Seahorse Tavern is of course in the campus grounds of Monash Peninsula, and many functions are held there (MONSU run and otherwise). There is a stocked bar with meals, two pool tables, pinball and gaming machines as well as the recent addition of FOXTEL on TVs throughout. I first of all must mention that due to reduced patronage, I was forced to book my meal, and to give a few days notice to do so. However, increased student custom will hopefully rectify this. After I placed the order, the meal was out in less than 10 minutes (!) and piping hot. The Chicken Parmigiana was very good, however tasty cheese was used instead of mozzarella, but it still tasted good (in fact it smelled much better!) The tomato sauce was herby and tangy, with a hint of chilli, complimented by the tang of the cheese. The chicken was good, but I am pleased to report that there was a larger amount of HAM that many premises have missed so far. It came with a garden salad and a small amount of steakhouse fries, but this was ok considering the price. Although for future reference for this reviewer, the purple lettuce may only be taken as a garnish. I give it 4 stars; unfortunately, they don’t have EFTPOS, but there is an ATM in the student lounge. It’s proximity to uni and provision of alcohol is a distinct advantage, as well it being a non-smoking venue with sideline entertainment available.